Felix Platter-Hospital focuses on geriatric and psychogeriatric care both in diagnostic and therapeutic services. As a result of being a University Medical Center, the clinic can implement new treatments based on the latest research findings.
“It’s been discovered that elderly patients need more protein, so we’ve incorporated that into our meals,” says Chief Medical Officer Prof. Reto W. Kressig. “It’s a simple change, but it shows that when older people come to us, they’ll be treated using the most up-to-date methods.”
The clinic also specializes in neurorehabilition for geriatric patients, for instance for those who have suffered a stroke. Many of its services are offered on an outpatient basis, such as Geriatric and Nutritional Assessment, a Memory Clinic and the Basel Mobility Center, which works to analyse gait and prevent falls. An admission care unit and a large division of physical and occupational therapy round off the clinic’s service spectrum.
With its current restructuring, Felix Platter-Hospital aims to expand its geronto-psychiatric ward. “Patients with dementia who develop other somatic problems can still be treated under a common roof of geriatric medicine,” Prof. Kressig explains. “We can continue to treat their dementia-related problems while curing their pneumonia, for example. The combination of somatic and psychiatric care allows us to take a holistic approach to geriatric health in this particular patient group.”
The clinic’s 800 members of staff provide highly professional care of the highest quality and treat patients with respect in a friendly, familiar atmosphere. “Patients as well as their families appreciate our bedside manner,” the Chief Medical Officer says. “We often deal with delicate situations. These are children taking care of their parents. We can even assist them with legal and social matters.”
Despite its strong standing with patients and their families, Felix Platter-Hospital constantly strives to improve its rapport even further. “It’s not just a matter of medicine,” Prof. Kressig points out. “We make sure we look at the patients as whole people.”
Patients come to Felix Platter-Hospital based on referrals from their general practitioners, and many established doctors cooperate closely with the clinic’s admission care unit. A majority of patients is referred by the emergency room of the geographically close Basel University Hospital.
While the rest of Europe and Switzerland especially are suffering from a lack of qualified medical personnel, Felix Platter-Hospital follows a consistent strategy to ensure that when patients come to the clinic, they receive the best treatment available.
“We know that geriatric care is not necessarily an attractive field for young doctors and nurses,” Prof. Kressig admits. “However, we have a solid reputation in our sector. We offer in-house training to make certain that all our staff are specialists in caring for the elderly, and we are pleased to report that we have no vacancies at the moment.”
Felix Platter-Hospital was named after a doctor originally from Basel who lived in the 16th century. It first opened its doors in 1890 and served as a general clinic. It was not until 2013 that the clinic finally took on the structure it has today. The strategic decision to focus on old age medicine and to integrate the university chair of geriatrics was a decisive milestone in the clinic’s development. “As part of a university, we are closer to research and teaching than geriatric clinics,” the Chief Medical Officer points out.
In his role, Prof. Kressig is primarily responsible for the strategic direction of the clinic, including medical research, services offered and the position of the clinic. He is a professor and researcher at the university, as well, therefore in close collaboration with the University Hospital of Basel.
The current construction of a completely new Felix Platter-Hospital is not yet complete, however: It is looking for excellent physicians to head the different departments in the hospital. “We are still restructuring to guarantee that our packaging matches our services,” Prof. Kressig explains. “That includes lean management, specialists, solid organization – all under the umbrella of a University Center for Medicine of Aging.”
After completion of the new hospital construction, Felix Platter-Hospital will begin offering a number of its inpatient services as outpatient services for better cost efficiency. The modular design of the new building will afford the clinic more flexibility in meeting the changing needs of the healthcare market.
“An 80-year-old today is not the same as an 80-year-old 20 years ago,” Prof. Kressig says. “Older people today are significantly healthier, and cases of stroke and dementia have decreased by up to 50%. We need to be able to adapt to whatever comes our way in caring for the elderly.”